The New England Patriots should probably use their first round pick to address one of the following positions of roster weakness.
Entering the 2020 NFL Draft with the 23rd overall pick, the New England Patriots have many options of what need to fill with the selection. Here are five positions they should try to target:
While the cream of the crop will be gone by the time New England is on the clock, such a deep class of receivers means even a low first round pick could land a stud at the position. Players such as Tee Higgins, Justin Jefferson, Leviska Shenault, and Denzel Mims could all be on the board at No. 23, each of which would make a great addition to the Patriots receiving corps.
Obviously, with such a deep class, value can be found later in the draft at receiver as well, making the need to take one of the second-tier receiver prospects less important.
Just like wide receiver, the top tier of QBs should be gone by the time New England is on the clock. While names such as Jordan Love, Jalen Hurts, and Jacob Eason will still be available, I’d argue against whether any of them are actually worth the 23rd overall pick.
If Love is there, and the Patriots staff are in love with him, it could happen. As days go by and rumors increase that Love’s going to get taken in the mid-first round, however, it seems more and more unlikely that New England will have a QB fall to them at pick no. 23.
After Chase Young, the second-best edge rusher in the class is rather unclear. A.J. Epenesa, Yetur Gross-Matos, and K’Lavon Chaisson could each have arguments made for why they should be the next DE off the board.
All three of these guys would be good selections, as they all project to be taken in the 20-30 range. Personally, Epenesa is my favorite of the three, but New England can’t go wrong with selecting a DE with pick no. 23.
If you’ve read my 7-round mock draft, you know how high I am on Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun. Baun plays like Kyle Van Noy with a higher ceiling. The only problem with Baun is 23rd could be a bit of a reach for him, as he’s projected to go early in the second round. Going into this draft with no second-round pick, however, it could be 23 or never for the Patriots.
Interior Offensive Linemen
You can never have enough offensive linemen, and with the future of Joe Thuney uncertain past this upcoming season, now could be the time to make another splash in the draft for a blocker.
Names like Cesar Ruiz and Netane Muti are realistically the only first-round talents that will be available at pick no. 23, but either of those picks would hopefully lock up a long-term starter on the front line.